Plummer Terrier

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Key Breed Facts
Breed Characteristics
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Plummer Terrier
Average Cost to keep/care for a Plummer Terrier

Key Breed Facts

Popularity #153 out of 243 Dog Breeds.

The Plummer Terrier breed is also commonly known by the names Plummer.
12 - 15 years
Pedigree Breed ?
No - Not Currently KC Recognised
Males 32 - 36 cm
Females 28 - 34 cm at the withers
Males 5.5 - 7.5 kg
Females 5.5 - 7.5 kg
Health Tests Available
No Health Tests Currently Recommended
Average Price (More Info)
£302 for Non KC Registered

Breed Characteristics


Plummer Terriers are highly prized for their hunting abilities and although they are not recognised as a breed by The Kennel Club, these charming hard working dogs have found their way into the hearts and homes of many people both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world. They are relatively new to the dog world having been created by crossing Jack Russells, Fox Terriers, Beagles and Bull Terriers with the end result being a charming, alert, keen and loyal little dog that loves nothing better than to be out and about working with their owners.


The Plummer Terrier was first developed by Dr Brian Plummer during the 1960's who gave his name to these charming little, working dogs. He crossed various terrier and other breeds to produce the dogs we see today. The breeds he originally used were Jack Russells, Fox Terriers and Beagles, but later he introduced the Bull Terrier into the mix with an end goal being to have a wider gene pool to draw from when developing the Plummer Terrier.

In 1998, the Plummer Terrier Club of Great Britain was established. However, Plummer Terriers are still not recognised by The Kennel Club as a breed although they are gaining popularity not only as working dogs, but as companions and family pets too thanks to their charming looks and loyal, affectionate albeit feisty natures. However, anyone wishing to share their home with a Plummer would need to register their interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list, but the wait is well worth it.


Height at the withers: Males 32 - 36 cm, Females 28 - 34 cm

Average weight: Males 5.5 - 7.5 kg, Females 5.5 - 7.5 kg

The Plummer Terrier is a compact, sturdy little dog and one that always looks ready to go to work whether they are out in the field or in a home environment. They have quite big heads in relation to the rest of their bodies with males being slightly heavier than their female counterparts. They have short quite blunt muzzles with nice broad noses with wide open nostrils.

Their eyes can be either hazel or a darker colour being set well apart on a dog's head which gives these dogs their alert and intelligent expression. Their ears are set high on a dog's head and fall forwards when alert but slightly back when dogs are relaxed or resting. Their ears have nice round tips and are soft to the touch.

Plummer Terriers have strong, powerful necks which they hold slightly arched and which gives them a noble look whether they are on the move or standing still. Their forequarters are strong with dogs having nice broad chests and well laid back shoulders. Front legs are straight, well-muscled and long in relation to a dog's overall size.

Plummer Terriers, as previously mentioned, are compact, sturdy looking little dogs which means they have nicely proportioned bodies with level toplines and well sprung ribs that run far back down their bodies. Their hindquarters are powerful with dogs boasting strong thighs and powerful, well-muscled longish back legs. Their feet are well knuckled and firm with strong pads and short nails. They have shortish tails that are set high and which dogs carry gaily in the air when they are working.

When it comes to their coat, Plummer Terriers have a short, tight and extremely waterproof coat which can be a variety of colour combinations including the following:

  • Red and white - described as "caped" or "collared"
  • Tri-coloured
  • Brindle


The Plummer Terrier was bred to be a working dog and there is nothing these dogs enjoy more than to be outside doing something. They are not only active and energetic, but they are very intelligent too. As such, they need to be kept busy mentally or boredom quickly sets in. They are best suited to people who live in the country and who lead active, outdoor lives. They are not the best choice for first time owners because these little dogs need to be handled and trained by people who are familiar with the particular needs of these highly intelligent and high energy terriers.

A Plummer Terrier needs to be well socialised from a young age and this has to include introducing puppies to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated so they mature into well-rounded albeit lively adult dogs. Their training has to begin as early as possible and rather than try to prevent a Plummer from doing what comes naturally to them, it's best to train dogs to do what is deeply embedded in their psyche.

Without enough exercise and mental stimulation, a Plummer Terrier would quickly develop some unwanted and destructive behaviours around the home which includes digging up rugs, furniture and anything else they can find. They thrive on being around people and as such are likely to suffer from separation anxiety if they are left to their own devices for any great length of time. They are best suited to households where at least one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out so they never have to be left on their own for any length of time.

A Plummer Terrier is never happier than when they know their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance. If they don't know who is the alpha dog in a household they may quickly take on the role of a dominant dog which can make them harder to live with and handle.

Intelligence / Trainability

Plummer Terriers are very clever little dogs that need to be handled and trained by people who are familiar with the needs of this type of alert and keen working dog. They can be quite strong willed which can make training them a bit challenging. They need to know who is the alpha dog in a household for them to be truly well-rounded dogs. With this said, in the right hands and environment, a Plummer is quick to learn new things.

The downside to this is they are just as quick to pick up bad behaviours and habits as they are the good ones. As such their training not only has to start early, but it has to be consistent and always fair throughout a dog's life so they know what is expected of them. Plummers are never happier than when they are given something to do which is why they are so amenable to learning new things.

They excel at many canine sports which includes activities like flyball, agility and obedience because they thrive on the attention they are given during their training and the one-to-one contact they have with their owners when they are competing. The key to successfully training a Plummer Terrier is to make their training as interesting as possible and to avoid being too much repetition. It's also a good idea to keep training sessions that much shorter which helps keep a dog more focussed on what is being asked of them.

Children and Other Pets

Plummer Terriers are known to be very good around children. However, because they can be a little excitable at times, it's best for any interaction between younger children and dogs to be well supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could result in a toddler being knocked over and hurt.

When dogs have been well socialised from a young enough age, they generally get on well with other dogs they meet and if they have grown up with a family cat in a household, they usually get on well together. However, a Plummer would think nothing of chasing off any other cats they encounter because they would see them as fair game. Care has to be taken when they are around any smaller animals and pets because of their high prey drive as such any contact is best avoided.

For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.

Plummer Terrier Health

The average life expectancy of a Plummer Terrier is between 12 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.

The Plummer Terrier is known to be a healthy, robust little dog although they may be prone to suffering from the hereditary health issues that affect their various parent breeds. As such, any stud dogs used in a breeding programme should be tested for the health issues that might affect the breeds used in their lineage.

Caring for a Plummer Terrier

As with any other breed, Plummer Terriers need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.


Plummer Terriers are low maintenance in the grooming department thanks to their short, smooth and tight coats. A weekly or twice weekly brush is all it takes to keep their coats in good condition.  They shed throughout the year only more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent grooming is usually necessary to stay on top of things and to remove dead and shed hair from a dog's coat.

It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.


The Plummer Terrier is a high energy, intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They need at least 1 hour's exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Plummer would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving any stress they may be experiencing.

A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must with as much off the lead time as possible. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these high prey, energetic dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape and could get into all sorts of trouble, bearing in mind that Plummers are expert diggers.

With this said, Plummer puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.


If you get a Plummer Terrier puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.

Average Cost to keep/care for a Plummer Terrier

If you are looking to buy a Plummer Terrier, you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because very few puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year. You would need to pay anything upwards of £500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy.

The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Plummer Terrier in northern England would be £19.44 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.75 a month (quote as of July 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.

When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £20 - £30 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Plummer and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £800 a year.

As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Plummer Terrier would be between £50 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.

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